If You Don’t Do It Because You Love It, Do Something Else, But How Do You Know You Won’t Love It Until You REALLY Try It!

Water on a metal plate at the pool, or universal fractal patterns? You make of it what you will, just like your life, my friends.

Water on a metal plate at the pool, or universal fractal patterns? You make of it what you will, just like your life, my friends.

Hi folks, welcome!

Remarkable writing.

Remarkable writing – sentences you just won’t believe.

You create your life every day, so don’t waste this one.

Ever since I was a kid I loved Biology, reading and active sports. I’ve noticed that everything I learned from these interests, as unrelated as they might seem, came in useful for later activities. In fact, sometimes things sit for years and then up they come, and you say, “I’d forgotten all about that. Boy, I’m glad I did that.”

Take conic section mathematics and the movement of the planets as the classic example of things sitting around for ages until they find a use.

Each of my interests took me away into magical places. They were really obsessions. I guess I am a little OCD – who else could be happy running 50 laps of the track, or sitting on a trainer for 6 hours? I must add that we don’t do things alone. I was tempted, cajoled, and persuaded into each of my key interests by many people, so for each ‘hobby’ below I’ve added in [] the name of the key individual who opened my eyes, ears, or brain to the idea.

What were these hobbies/interests, [and my key teachers]?

  1. Microscopy (as a 12-year old kid and through the end of a 40-year career); resulted in my becoming a respectably accomplished veterinary pathologist [Grammar School Biology teacher, no idea of his name, which is sad].
  2. Water polo (8 years, my teens); helps a lot in the Ironman swim when things get crazy [Gordon, a Grammar school friend].

    My image of the Lake Placid Ironman swim keeps me motivated to improve my strength and skill in the water. Photo by Randy Mews.

    Lake Placid Ironman swim 2010. Photo by Randy Mews.

  3. Martial arts (4 years, my 40s); my first real introduction to biomechanics and handling pain [my youngest son, Nigel, followed by Jeff, another pathologist].
  4. Weight lifting (5 years, my 40s); further studies of biomechanics, teaching me the critical role of good technique [my two older sons, Nicholas and Duncan].
  5. Playing the flute (15 years, my 30s); resulted in many fond memories of amateur orchestras and small chamber groups, and I learned to read a score, which can markedly enhance one’s understanding and enjoyment of large orchestral pieces [hearing Acker Bilk playing Stranger on the Shore, and Ron, father of my friend Stuart, remarkable cellist and pianist].
  6. The French language (10 years, my 30s); enabled me to have thoughts that I just could not adequately translate into English, revealing the power of language over my mental processes [My Mom, who encouraged all forms of learning and foreign student exchanges].

    Yes! FitOldDog could derive this from scratch, via imaginary numbers, to Euler trig functions - this is true magic and it still defies my belief that someone actually worked this out.

    Yes! FitOldDog could derive this from scratch, via imaginary numbers, to Euler trig functions, and series mathematics – this is true magic. It still defies my belief that someone actually worked this out. Hell, I could barely comprehend it.

  7. Mathematics (6 years, my 50s) [indescribably beautiful, satisfying and frustrating at the same time]; opened my eyes to the wonder of this symbolic world, introducing me to concepts of which I never could have dreamed – just take Schrodinger’s equation, Eigen vectors, or the Taylor series as examples. Some things you just cannot even glimpse without a grasp of mathematics, but start early, it takes a while [Julie, remarkable teacher].
  8. Most recently triathlons (17 years, my 50s, 60s, and now 70s); what a great sport, which introduces you to the power of the mind over the body (and vice versa), plus you get to go to great places, meet interesting people, and eat a lot of wonderful food [my youngest son, Nigel, great athlete].
  9. Reading (all my life, as far back as I can remember); that one has really stuck with me [Mom, who encouraged learning, and my siblings who learned all around me].

I’m never so happy as when I find a great book.

The real key to a full and satisfying life is to keep on learning, and swap out your interests every so often, as your brain can adapt and change for the better.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Love this. Great script for a motivational talk. Like how it makes me think back on my own interests.

  2. Glenn Jones says

    Yes Kevin, many thanks.  It also caused me to reflect.  You sound like a classic, lifelong, autodidact.  Good on you.  It makes every day so much more interesting and worthwhile when one approaches it from the point of view that each new day is a new learning opportunity.  You seem to have worked that out a lifetime ago.  Kudos to you.  

    My only addition is to the sport of triathlon.  I came to it as a mere spectator, supporting our son in his first Ironman a couple of years back and later at both local and other international events.  After years of putting up with the bad manners of rugby players and grunting weightlifters, my wife and I were knocked over by the comeraderie and friendliness of the triathlon crowd, both here in Oz and overseas.  They are truly interesting and nice people who bring credit to what is a very challenging sport.  

    Best regards,


  3. “a little OCD” WHAT!!!

    O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An’ foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    An’ ev’n devotion!

    Rabbie Burns

    • Ah, yes! I can smell the haggis and nips, and taste the whisky. As a member of the Penicuik Toastmaster’s club in the early 1970s, it befell me to learn and recite ‘Tee a mousie,’ which was no small feat. I must admit, even though I couldn’t understand the half of it, I loved a good recitation of Tam o’ Shanter, or maybe it was the whisky by then. Fond memories of Scotland.

  4. Hi Glenn, thanks for your comment. The triathlon crowd really are great, even the ones who are a little too driven. Based on your use of the term autodidact, I’ve added a key section to this post – we stand on the shoulders of giants, and no FitOldDog is an island, so I added a reference to those who opened my eyes, ears or brain to the interests I followed. Hundreds of people have helped me in my life, and sometimes they required considerable patience to persuade me to think differently about a topic. I am extremely grateful to all of those wonderful ships who came through my life. Kind Regards, kevin

    • Glenn Jones says

      I have long admired autodidacts Kevin, and have aspired to become one in the second half of my life. The first half was spent learning lessons the hard way:). I have come to the conclusion that my aging body can no longer take the punishment and besides, I should now be old enough to know better.

      May many more ships pass through your life long into the future.

      Best regards,


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.